Seawall project to protect WWI graves

Monday December 05, 2016 Written by Published in Local
New Zealand High Commissioner Nick Hurley with Peter Kiely (right) and Sam Johnston of the Pacifi c Development and Conservation Trust. 16120222 New Zealand High Commissioner Nick Hurley with Peter Kiely (right) and Sam Johnston of the Pacifi c Development and Conservation Trust. 16120222

Work is nearing completion on the 50-metre extension of the seawall along the RSA cemetery foreshore.

 

The longer seawall will help protect and preserve WWI soldiers’ graves from coastal erosion. 

The New Zealand-based Pacific Development and Conservation Trust has contributed $50,000 to the project.

Trust chairman, Peter Kiely, says when he visited the site six months ago “I could see graves falling into the water and so something had to be done.”

Kiely says he is delighted with the progress with both the seawall and the old cemetery that six months ago “looked a lot like a jungle”.

“It’s very moving to see the commitment of Michel Tuffery, Henry Wichman and the community have made on a memorial to those poor guys who went into the Arras tunnel 100 years ago.

“Winter on the Western Front - with the cold, sleet and mud, couldn’t be further away from Rarotonga. So the least we can do is remember and honour them and it’s wonderful.”

1 comment

  • Comment Link Sue Baker Wilson Tuesday, 06 December 2016 20:33 posted by Sue Baker Wilson

    Wonderful to see the work being done to preserve the WW1 graves and honour those who served, including our Cook Islands soldiers who joined the NZ Tunnellers in Arras, one hundred years ago on 9 December, 1916.

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